Wayne Lysaght-Mason

Name: Wayne Lysaght-Mason

Age: 53

Company: IronmongeryDirect

Turnover: £12.5m

First job: Many part time jobs before leaving school, but first “proper job” was as an apprentice for Jaguar Cars, who also sponsored me to do a degree in Production Engineering and Management.

Dream job: Teaching! I would love to be a mentor for the Prince’s Trust helping young people develop businesses. There is so much potential in the young that if it can be developed and harnessed, whilst minimising the mistakes that experience brings, then who knows the potential for the future.

Car: BMW X5 and family run around Nissan Micra.

Economy, business or first class: Business class. First class never seems value for the cost, and there’s not enough room in economy, especially long haul.

Most extravagant purchase: I am not a great spender, but I guess the sit-on mower – it makes it so much quicker to get to the wine at weekends!

Most-played song on your iPod: I haven’t got an ipod – yes I know I am out of touch, but I do enjoy listening to house music and R’n’B in the car or at home, not your everyday choice of a 53 year old! My daughters always tell me off for my “dad dancing”. 

Best business book: The Business of Management: Art or Craft by Roger Falk. This was first published in 1961 and I remember it was the most interesting of all the books I read for my degree.

Worst business moment: When a business forgets who the customer is. I have worked in some companies where the company delivers what they want and not what the customer wants, this has led to me changing jobs!

Proudest business moment: For me it has been where I have managed to turn round a poor performing business or where it has not achieved its potential. 

Your business mentor: Currently none. I use various people to bounce ideas off, to test and refine decisions. In my early career, I always seemed to have bosses who wanted to discuss strategy and ideas rather than instruct me what to do. This helped me to stretch my thinking. It taught me that for every problem or opportunity, there are at least 100 solutions.

Next big thing: The 3D copier. The potential for prototype, sending samples and production are endless. I am fascinated by the technology.

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